A day after his quarterback was leveled by stinging in-house criticism, Jets owner Woody Johnson surfaced to proclaim any talk Mark Sanchez is lazy or entitled is news to him.
"I've never heard that," Johnson said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program on Thursday, according to the New York Daily News. "He's the first guy in the building every morning and the last guy to leave. So, the last thing he is is lazy. ... He's an NFL quarterback. That's what you expect from an NFL quarterback….I think everybody is a little frustrated."
In the unholy days of Coslet, Carroll, and Kotite, an 8-8 record would be considered something of an accomplishment for the Jets. But after back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship Game, the stakes are higher.
"New Yorkers don't like losers," said Johnson, whose team celebrated the 43rd anniversary of its first and only Super Bowl win on Thursday. "Even if it's an 8-8 record, that's not good enough. They want a winner. And there is frustration. And that's what you want."
"I think he does," Johnson said. "How do you correct that? That's alchemy. Inside the locker room is one of those things that every year is a little different. Thirty percent new players. The fact that we didn't go to Cortland (an upstate location of past training camps) maybe hurt us. Every team didn't have an offseason. So maybe it hurt us a little more than some others."
Pointing to a shortened training camp is an easy out, especially when 31 other teams dealt with the same challenge without completely imploding from within. But in a month where a new fire seems to break out daily at Florham Park, Johnson is wise to point the finger at the lockout rather than his coach or quarterback.